Review: 14 years have passed since Benji B and Judah established their monthly Deviation parties in London. This fine compilation celebrates the club's legacy and sound, which famously touched on all manner of soul-fired musical styles whilst keeping one eye (and both feet) on the dancefloor, with Benj B selecting cuts that never failed to rock the party. Expect a mixture of skewed, bass-heavy beats (Dorian Concept, James Blake, 00Genesis), heady instrumental hip-hop (Waajeed, Damn Funk remixing Baron Zen), Afro-funk (K Fimpong), peak-time UK bass mutations (Pearson Sound, Martyn, Mala), high-grade deep house (Gilb'r remixing Rick Wilhite, Theo Parrish) and a smattering of genuine scene anthems (Detroit Experiment, Maurice Fulton's remix of Alice Smith, DJ SPen presents DJ Technic).
Review: On the latest instalment of the long-running DJ-Kicks series, Peggy Gou paints a vivid picture. It starts with the widescreen ambience of Space Time Continuum's 1993 debut, "Fluresence", before moving into her own, cosmic "Hungboo" and the niggling acid of Pearson Sound's "Earwig", a contemporary cousin to Plastikman's Musik. There are other endearing oddities here, such as Andrew Weatherall's seductive house version of Sly & Lovechild's "The World According To..." and the raw drums of Kyle Hall's "Flemmenup". Gou has also included a Detroit techno classic, Psyche's "Crackdown", but balances this out with new, unreleased tracks from I:Cube - "Cassette Jam 1993" sees the maverick French producer deliver a frazzled, hazy affair - and Hiver's pulsating, acid-flecked "Pert".
Review: Rubble is David Kennedy aka Pearson Sound's only release of 2018, and it marks a slight deviation in sound for him. The slowed down groove and teased out 303s of "Earwig" is one of the few times we'll hear the UK producer doing an acid track. While not as playable as some of his other material, it is nonetheless a brave artistic statement. In stark contrast the release also feature "Our Spirits Soar", which, with its soaring chords and high frequency melodic twists, could be Kennedy's tribute to Detroit techno. The title track meanwhile is led by booming bass and big claps and sees Pearson Sound in more familiar territory again.
Review: For the second release on his new eponymous imprint, David Kennedy serves up some more infectious oddball grooves that you have come to know from the man. On the brilliantly titled "Robin Chasing Butterflies", Kennedy does deep electro breaks with precision and style. Same goes for "Heal Me", but this one is even more hypnotic and ethereal in its melancholic grace. "Eels" on the other hand sees the formerly influential UK bass producer create a wonderful ambient soundscape conjured from the magic of analogue and modular machines to rather fascinating effect.
Review: Having enjoyed a little time off from releasing music, David Kennedy returns with a two-tracker on his Pearson Sound imprint. While flipside "Tsunan Sun" is naturally impressive, it's A-side "XLB" that everyone's been talking about. It's not hard to see why. After opening with sustained moody notes and gently pulsing electronics, the track builds into an intoxicating techno thumper, complete with alternately rising and falling synth lines, thunderous sub-bass, and a killer combination of stomping kick-drums, snappy snares, and seemingly relentless drum machine handclaps. Even by his standards, it's something of a colossal beast... and that's saying something.
Review: Ahead of the release of the Ytivil Dnuos compilation, Peverelist has opted to turn out a 12" that revisits two tracks from the recent past and sheds some fresh light on them. The label boss himself takes "Amor Fati" by Hodge to task, and turns out a delicately poised but satisfyingly weighty version replete with twinkling synth lines and jagged rhythmic incantations. Hodge meanwhile gets to have some fun with Bruce's "Tilikum", and weaves an emotional techno variation out of the component parts that stands amongst his most impassioned works to date, thanks in no small part to the heart-rending sweeps of chord that blanket the peak of the track.
Review: After six years spent teasing and titillating with a steady stream of high value singles, David Kennedy is finally ready to release his debut full-length under the now familiar Pearson Sound alias. The first artist album to appear on the Hessle Audio imprint he co-founded with Pangaea and Ben UFO, Pearson Sound is a surprisingly sparse and otherworldly affair. Intriguingly, Kennedy's usual twisted, dubbed-out analogue rhythms largely take a back seat, with moments of tough dancefloor abandon (see "Rubber Tree" and the tipsy "Headless") playing second fiddle to stripped-back synth-scapes and otherworldly ambience. It's striking on first listen, and only gets more impressive with repeat listens